5 Best Golf Exercises For Your Longest Golf Drive

Here in Florida, golf is a year-round activity.  People travel from all over the world to play on the fine courses we have here.

golf workouts

When designing effective golf workouts, there’s a few key points to consider.  First, what kind of training program will give you the greatest benefit for the time and effort you are going to invest?  Next, decreasing the likelihood and severity of injuries, so you can really enjoy the game you love for a long time to come.  And finally, incorporating exercises to maximize performance for a great score.

So as we design this golf workout, there’s a few criteria we want to make sure we fulfill:

Full Body Workouts

This is not a problem at Rock Solid Fitness, since we have all of our clients train perform full body workouts twice a week, each one taking only 30 minutes.

Injury Prevention

We want to include exercises in your golf workouts to strengthen areas of the body that are especially vulnerable to common golf injuries.  These include the muscles surrounding the spine in the low back, and rotator cuff muscles of the shoulders.

For the low back, we will include our Nautilus low back extension machine, which isolates the muscles reinforcing the lumbar spine.

For the shoulders, we’ll strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, using manual resistance.

Maximize Performance

We would love to select golf exercises that will maximize your performance on the course.  That could mean being able to grip the club more securely, hit your longest golf drive, or get out of sand traps or roughs.

This will mean:

You’ll be doing overhead pulling movements for your back, arms and grip.  We’ll also include lateral hip movements for driving power, and our special torso rotation machine to maximize club head speed.

So make sure your golf workouts are full-body affairs, focusing on injury prevention and max performance.  Keep the intensity high, don’t over-train, and you will be hitting your longest golf drive and wowing your golf buddies in no time!

To learn more about Rock Solid Fitness Golf Workouts, schedule a Free Fitness Consultation and Workout Experience HERE

 

 

Lower Back Workouts You Can Practice At Home

 

Lower Back Workouts you can do in the gym and practice at home

In Part 1 of our series on lower back workouts for lower back pain relief, we reviewed some of the causes and effects of lower back pain, and highlighted an exercise we utilize at Rock Solid Fitness to combat this problem, using the Nautilus Low Back Machine.

But what if you don’t have a Nautilus low back machine, or any other back machine?  There are still some very effective exercises and techniques you can use to strengthen not only your low back muscles, but your entire midsection.  By doing so, you can effectively create an “internal back brace”, which will not only serve to relieve current back pain, and also reduce the risk of injuring your back in the future.

At Rock Solid, we use our Dynamic Lumbar Stabilization Program (DLSP) for this purpose.

What the heck is a dynamic lumbar stabilization program?

The key concept that makes dynamic lumbar stabilization effective is the principle of bracing.

Bracing means contracting your waist muscles-including your rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, and transverse abdominis.  This will to stabilize your lumbar spine, and maintaining that contraction, as you dynamically move your limbs.

The practical application of this principle in everyday life includes

-Bracing when you lift something

lower back workouts

 

-Brace when you move something away from your body

dynamic lumbar stabilization program

-Bracing during sports and leisure activities

To be able to do this without thinking about it (which is the ultimate goal), You can practice using dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises.

In the video below, Melissa is demonstrating exercise # 3.3 in our DLSP, Quadriped Arm and Leg Raises.

To perform the exercises, you first find your neutral spine position, which is described and demonstrated in the video.

Next, you brace your abdominal muscles, contracting your entire waist area to tighten the muscles.  Do this in the same way you would if you thought someone was going to punch you in the stomach, or like what happens when you cough or sneeze.

To test whether or not you are bracing correctly, poke all around your waist with your fingertips, including your sides, the middle near your belly button, high low, all over.  If you’re doing right, everywhere you poke will feel tight (even though there may be some soft stuff on top LOL), and it should be a little hard to breathe.

Once you are in neutral spine and braced, you attempt to straighten your right arm and left leg at the same time.  Try not to allow any movement in your waist or hips as you do this.  To make sure and provide yourself some feedback, you can utilize a yard stick, as shown in the video.

Return your right arm and left leg to the starting position, then do the same thing with your left arm and right leg.  Your goal is to do this continuously for 1 to 3 minutes, maintaining a tight brace the entire time.

Practice these lower back workouts twice a week, and before you know it, your lower back will be bulletproof!

Have you suffered from lower back pain? Tried any lower back workouts that didn’t work for you?  Afraid to exercise your low back for fear of getting injured?  CLICK HERE to tell us your story!

Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises Part 1

Have you ever had an issue with lower back pain?  Most people either have, or will, in their lifetime.  We work with many clients at Rock Solid Fitness Dunedin who want to either decrease or prevent low back problems.  For those clients, we have a few lower back pain relief exercises to choose from, the first of which we will discuss today.

Interesting Facts about Back Pain

  • The single leading cause of disability worldwide is back pain.  Back pain prevents many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.
  • Back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost work days a year—that equals two work days for every full-time worker in the country!
  • Up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives.
  • Back pain is the third most common reason for doctor’s office visits, right behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis/joint disorders.
  • Worldwide, the number of years people live with disability caused by low back pain has increased by 54% between 1990 and 2015.
  • Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year, plus lost wages and decreased productivity, which easily brings that number to more than $100 billion.

What Causes Back Pain?

Many other factors can contribute to low back pain.  These include ligament sprains, protruding or herniated disks, or compression fractures.  Arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can all cause or exacerbate back pain.

Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises

The problem with most conventional back strengthening exercises is that the leg muscles actually end up doing the majority of the work, and the critical lumbar spine muscles remain neglected and weak.

We are fortunate to have a machine in our facility that offers a unique way to isolate and strengthen the low back muscles (shown in pink in the picture below).

lower back pain relief exercises

The Nautilus Nitro low back machine that we use has 2 seat belts which go over the trainee’s thighs, an L-shaped seat to block their sacrum, and a foot plate for their feet to rest on.  This combination serves to restrain the pelvis, minimizing the involvement of the leg muscles, and effectively isolating those “pink” muscles shown above.

After just a couple workouts on this machine, people report that their low back already feels better.  This machine is one of very, very few on the market that isolates the low back muscles in this fashion.

Strengthening this area is a great way to reduce the risk of future injury to the low back.

Check out this video of Melissa demonstrating this low back pain relief exercise:

 

In our next installment, we’ll show you an exercise we use that can also be done at home!

What’s your low back pain story?  What did you do about it? Leave a comment below!

How to Prevent Low Back Pain

This morning one of our training clients, who is a nurse at a local hospital, was telling me how two of her co-workers are having trouble doing their jobs because they had low back problems.  She said she was trying to explain to them how to prevent low back pain by strengthening the muscles in and around the low back area, but they weren’t really getting it.  So I thought I’d take a stab at it with this blog post.

How to Prevent Low Back Pain Through Strength Training

80% of us – 4 out of 5 – will experience low back pain at some point in our lives.  Low back pain is the #1 cause of disability in the workplace worldwide.

More U.S. health care dollars are spent treating low back pain than almost any other medical condition, but much of that money is be wasted.  Estimates on the health care costs of low back pain range from $50 billion to $200 billion per year – a lot of money, whatever the exact number is.

Yet at the same time, outcomes don’t seem to be improving.  The amount of people who report suffering from back pain is steadily on the rise.  The cause of most back pain is mechanical-meaning it is due to some type of injury, most often a soft tissue injury to the surrounding muscles, tendons and/or ligaments.

Many exercises that supposedly strengthen the lower back muscles are actually dangerous to the spine, and work the hip and leg muscles way more than the low back muscles.  These include any exercise where you explosively pull a weight upward, something you see a lot in many gyms today.  There is nothing worse than going to the gym to prevent injuries, and then getting injured in the process!

But there is good news-proper exercise can help get rid of lower back pain, and strengthen the lower back to reduce the risk of such injuries, and in a safe manner. The best exercises for this purpose are those that isolate the lumbar spine muscles and don’t utilize the hip and leg muscles.

Most common “back” exercises, such as deadlifts or back extensions (shown below), do not achieve this goal.

deadlift45 degree back extension

Isolating the lumbar spine muscles is accomplished by restraining the pelvis, which eliminates the involvement of the hip and leg muscles.  There are very few exercise machines on the market that effectively accomplish this goal. One is the Nautilus Lower Back extension machine (pictured below), which can be found at Rock Solid Fitness.

how to prevent low back pain

As you can see in the picture above, the Nautilus low back machine has 2 seat belts, one which goes across the hips, and one that goes just above the trainees’ knees.  Also, notice how there is a pad that goes behind the hips.  This pad and the 2 seat belts serve to restrain the pelvis, rendering the hip and leg muscles unable to assist with the exercise.  This design isolates the action to only the lumbar spinal muscles.

The trainee starts the exercise in a position of lumbar flexion (bent forward), and leans back into the upper back pad until the lumbar spine is in a position of full extension, working the lumbar spinal muscles through a full range of motion, as shown below.

prevent low back pain

Start Position

low back pain

Finish Position

Of course, the muscles of the hips and thighs are very important to those who want to know how to prevent low back pain, but they should be trained using exercises that specifically target those muscles safely, such as leg press, leg extension, leg curl, etc.  At Rock Solid Fitness, we always perform full body workouts, so that none of these areas are neglected.

2015-10-11 23.03.0720140715_115845

 

So if you would like to know how to prevent low back pain, using exercises that properly isolate the lumbar spine muscles combined with a full body strengthening program, just schedule a workout at Rock Solid Fitness and we will hook you up!

 

Get your brain in shape by strength training

We all know about the physical benefits of working out with weights by now-increased strength, increased metabolism, resistance to injury, etc. etc.  But more and more new research is showing that another major benefit of progressive resistance exercise is the slowing down of the adverse effects that aging has on our brains.

By late middle age, many neurological studies reveal that most of us have begun developing age-related lesions in our brains’ white matter-the material that connects and passes messages between different brain regions.

The lesions are usually asymptomatic at first.  But these lesions can widen and multiply as the years go by, causing the shrinking our white matter and affecting our thinking. Studies have found that older people with many lesions tend to have worse cognitive abilities than those whose white matter is relatively intact.

Canadian researcher Theresa Liu-Ambrose has discovered that progressive resistance exercise (i.e. lifting weights) has the greatest benefit in fighting this age-related shrinking, compared to other forms of exercise.

Dr. Liu-Ambrose and her colleagues tested women from age 65-75 using three different exercises programs- a balance and flexibility training group, a once-a-week weight training group, and a twice-a-week weight training group.  The women stuck with their training program for a year.  At the conclusion they underwent brain scans which were compared to their pre-study brain scans.

The results revealed that the women in the control group, who had concentrated on balance and flexibility, showed progression in the number and size of the lesions in their white matter, as did the once a week weight training group.

But those who had trained with weights twice per week had significantly less shrinkage of their white matter than the other women.  Their walking also improved in speed and precision more than the women in the other two groups.  These findings suggest that twicew a week weight training can beneficially change the structure of the brain, according to DR. Liu-Ambrose.

So stay committed to lifting those weights twice a week in a progressive fashion forever-in addition to looking and feeling great, your brain will thank you for it!

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26456233

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Do You Have Neck Pain? Let Us Help You [Video]

Did you know that 45% of all workers experience neck pain? We get many people who come in to Rock Solid reporting neck pain, watch this video to see how we help them:

One of the main causes of neck pain is soft tissue injury (soft tissue includes muscles, tendons and ligaments). The good news is that we can strengthen the soft tissue through proper exercise. At Rock Solid we use the Pendulum 5 Way Neck machine. It allows us to provide resistance against neck extension (looking up to the ceiling, strengthening the muscles in the back of the neck), neck flexion (bringing your chin to your chest, strengthening the muscles in front of your neck), lateral flexion (bringing your ear to your shoulder, strengthening the muscles on the side of your neck), and it allows us to perform a shrug. A shrug is where you bring your shoulders up as high as you can to work the muscles in your upper back, including your trapezius muscles.

 

traps

The trapezius muscles, or traps, originate in the upper back and attach to your neck. Your traps are part of a group of muscles where many people “hold their stress,” and these muscles often feel tight. Strengthening these muscles can help release some of this tension.

For proof of how this works check out this testimonial from Nancy about how she was on pain medicine for three herniated discs and one bulging disc, and after strength training with us she is now off her medication and pain free!

Do you have a sore neck, or know somebody who does? Shoot us an email or give us a call at 727-282-1800 to schedule a Free Introductory Workout with us and see how we can help get rid of those aches and pains!

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